Iowa Officials Allege Manure From Dairy Responsible for Fish Kill

More than 200 fish were allegedly killed in Iowa after manure runoff went into a nearby stream. ( Iowa Department of Natural Resources )

Environmental officials in Iowa are laying the blame for a recent case of fish dying on manure runoff from a farm.

On March 25, environmental specialists and fisheries staff with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) started investigating a fish kill in Dubuque County that was believed to be caused by manure runoff.

According to a DNR press release, the manure runoff was traced back to Lawler Dairy near Peosta.

Liquid manure had recently been applied by the owners on a nearby field. Because of melting snow and recent rainfall, the manure ran into a ravine and through a tile intake before going into an unnamed tributary located along Graff Road north of Peosta. The tributary runs into the Little Maquoketa River.

There were a reported 238 fish killed by the manure runoff.

Enforcement actions are pending against Lawler Dairy following this investigation.

Reminder on Nutrient Management

This recent case in Iowa serves as a reminder that nutrient management plans are needed when applying manure and that runoff is a risk. Below are some resources to consider when applying manure onto fields: